Saturday, November 30, 2013

Weekend Links - November 30, 2013

Tomorrow is December, y'all. (I'm in Tennessee right now. I can say y'all)

As my nephew Fen likes to sing, "dun, dun, DUN". (A trick he learned from the movie The Croods)

Well, anyway, consider yourself warned.

The holiday means I've been a little out of pocket this week so there aren't as many links. But I still want to share those things that caught my eye before all the traveling, eating, & visiting started.

Marriage / Parenting
Homeschooling / Education
Everything Else
Like I said, a little light on the links this week. Hope to be back next week with more but in the meantime, Happy Holidays! (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Advent starts tomorrow...)
This post may be linked here:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;
And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Weekend Links - November 23, 2013

Happy Saturday, friends! It's a beautiful day here - lots of sunshine and Philip took the little girls (and iBoy) and me out for doughnuts. (The big girls had a sleepover with a friend last night)

Any morning that starts in a little doughnut shop with steaming hot coffee and amazingly fresh doughnuts is a Good Morning. I actually wished I had one of those fancy camera phones - you wouldn't believe how much powdered sugar Miss Lili had on her face. But alas, I do not. You'll just have to imagine it. There was so much sugar I told Philip we should powder the rest of her face with it and pretend she was wearing white face for some reason.

Good times. Now for the links!

Spiritual / Inner Life
Marriage / Parenting
  • Gospel Centered S**? by Marci Preheim. Long but worthy to provoke thought and discussion on a tricky subject (and the asterisks are not because I'm ashamed of the word, just trying to deter the multitude of spam I've been getting lately).
Homeschooling / Education
Books / Reading
Everything Else
Post of my own that I hope you'll read: INTJ: Mastermind or Heroine?
That's it for this week. What caught your eye?
This post is linked to:

Come see what other folks are sharing on their blogs this week.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday

Another Friday! It's cooler and rainy here, a perfect day for getting lost on Pinterest.

I mean, no, um, a perfect day for Doing Things and Getting Many Things Done in a Timely Fashion.

Or, you know, falling down the Pinterest Rabbit Hole, again.

Here are my favorites from this week (and it is probably no coincidence they are all decorating related. We're hoping there's a new to us house in the not-too distant future!):
Source: unknown
Lovely green and white kitchen. Green and white is one of my favorite color schemes for a kitchen - it's just so fresh and it's great for combining modern and vintage touches.
I love decorating with maps. Something like this for the boy's room, maybe?
I love this idea! There's a space where something like this might work in the house we're trying to buy.
Source: Fancy
Be still my heart. Love it. And only $234! That's a steal compared to what a real phone booth would cost. Except the budget doesn't stretch even to $234 book cabinets. (Or, really, book cabinets that cost much less.) Rats. Maybe I can thrift something and fix it up like this? A girl can dream.

What are you Pinning this week?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nonfiction November - Book Pairings

This week, your challenge is to come up with a nonfiction book to pair with a fiction book. So, if you like FICTION BOOK, then you should absolutely read NONFICTION BOOK!
I had to think about this one for a bit. I felt like I've done a similar post in the past but, after falling down the rabbit hole of reading through old posts, I still couldn't find that particular post (if it exists). So then I had to think up some good Fiction / Nonfiction pairings. I know there are a few more but these are the first that came to mind.
The novel:

I love this novel. I buy extra copies of it so I can give it away. (And so I can have extras, just because. Don't judge.)

The Nonfiction Book:

Now, OK, I cheated a bit here because I haven't actually read this book yet. But it's on my list and it matches the subject matter so don't hold it against me if you read it first and don't like it.

The Novel:

Oh, Jane Austen. I tried to choose one favorite but I just couldn't. So I'm linking to a complete set. I own a similar volume, as well as individual paperback editions (the better for curling up under a blanket, my dear).

The Nonfiction Book(s):

This memoir is interesting, not least because finding a man who reads Austen is somewhat rare.

I recently finished this book and I enjoyed it. If you enjoy Austen you may recognize yourself in this book.

The Novel:

Fantastic story (and the movie adaptation isn't terrible, though it's probably not to everyone's taste).

The Nonfiction Book:

Truth is stranger than fiction and this book is better than the above novel, in my opinion.

I know there are more pairings. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'd love to revisit this idea in a future blog post, maybe once I get all my beloved books out of storage. It's going to be like the Best Christmas Ever once we get moved into our new home!

So, what Fiction / Nonfiction pairings would you suggest?
This post is linked to Nonfiction November at Regular Rumination.
This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure page for more about this.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesdays With Words

Counting your blessings this November? Don't forget where our gratitude should be directed.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

INTJ: mastermind or heroine?

So, you might have seen them around Pinterest and Facebook: Myers-Briggs charts with our favorite characters illustrating the types.
source: unknown
Star Wars.

Harry Potter.

Downton Abbey.

You guys, listen. I'm comfortable with my type. I like being an INTJ. It's one way of describing the pieces who help make up who I am.

But come on.

Seriously now, it took me three of these things to realize something: the INTJs are always the bad guys. Sure, they're smart. They're planners. They're deep.

But still.

Draco Malfoy? O'Brien? EMPEROR PALPATINE?

Are you kidding me?

I looked over the Downton Abbey chart pretty closely. Despite the way my once beloved show drop-kicked my heart and walked over the ashes of my love for Matthew and Mary (I'm feeling a bit dramatic here, I'll admit), the characters and their costumes and their shenanigans still interest me. (Well, their old shenanigans. I really don't care what happens at this point. Downton is dead to me. Do you hear me, Julian Fellowes? DEAD TO ME.)

Anyway. Forgive me, I take my fictional characters seriously. Back to my main point, once I was perusing the Downton Abbey Myers-Briggs chart I finally put my finger on what annoys me:
take the NTJ and put an "I" on the beginning: evil mastermind. Put an "E" and you get: the heroine.

Princess Leia. Mary Crawford.

This negative image of Introverts has got to stop. We are not evil masterminds. We are loveable, loyal, prone to over-thinking people who don't suffer fools and  their foolishness.

I may not be an Extrovert but I'll go toe to toe with Darth Vader if I have to, especially if he's threatening the people I love. I'll manage the family estate, I'll take care of the family (are we seeing a theme here?). I could be Princess Leia or Mary Crawford.

There may be a fine line between heroics and villainy, heroine and devious plotter. That line is not, "Would you rather go to a party or stay home and read a book?" The difference is not Extroversion vs. Introversion because E vs. I are not a moral choices, they simply exist.

Extroverts can be bad guys. Introverts can be heroes. Introverts could plot nefarious schemes. Extroverts could save the day. But those roles are never cast in stone. Extroversion is not the default, healthy psychological make-up with Introverts being twisted and in need of fixing. I don't need to be fixed or coerced into being an Extrovert.

I am not less because I am an Introvert. Only the Extroverts who run things could possibly think that. The heroes and heroines of all the stories are not all Extroverts. Sometimes they're people who would have lived quietly but have no choice to step up and make sure things are done properly. Introversion is not inherently evil and Extroversion is not inherently good. I'm sure there are folks who would rather see the world that way, but they're wrong. I'm an Introvert and I can tell you we think about this kind of thing a lot.

I am an INTJ but I am more than that. I am a free moral agent with God given strengths and abilities hindered by my own sinful nature and choices.

I stand up for the weak but I am also guilty of ignoring the needy. I'm good with words, although they often get me into trouble. I'm loyal to my family and friends and love when we're all together, but I often need to get away from them at the end of the day so I can recharge. I'm devoted to and head over heels in love with the love of my life but I often find myself annoyed by his failings (though they are small in the grand scheme of things). Please tell me that sounds more like Mary Crawford than Miss O'Brien. I'm already pretty sure it sounds more like Princess Leia than Emperor Palpatine.

Time to learn how to make some infographics myself, I guess. The only way to stop this discrimination against Introverts is for some of us who identify as such to stop being quiet.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Misc. Monday

Monday, Monday.

Confession: I actually kind of like Mondays. Back to routine. Back to real life. ("Back" from what, I don't know exactly. I do know that Sundays are kind of wearying to a church staff family.)

Bits of Monday for you:

1. Our power was out last night. We're thankful it wasn't worse for us and praying for anyone who had a harder time in the storms that swept through. We were blissfully ignorant of how serious the storms were in certain places.
2. A candlelit house is a pretty nice way to relax on a Sunday evening, when it's not too cold outside. Not being able to feed hungry children who have been at church for the past two hours is not as nice. (Hooray for kids eat free coupons!) If I could have just checked my email and Facebook, I wouldn't have missed power at all. (Unlike Miss Lili who was dismayed at how capricious a power outage can be. No CD player? No nightlight? Oh, the humanity!)

3. You probably want to read this interesting article about Chanukah and Thanksgiving. Kind of makes me wish we observed both.
4. iBoy is, as ever, adorable. And incredibly patient with his sisters who do things like, make him paper crowns to wear (above) or stuff him into baby doll strollers (below). Those of you inclined to worry, fear not. I removed him from this contraption before anyone could push him anywhere (but not, obviously, before I got the camera out).
5. Reflecting on how cute her brother was also led to this conversation between Polly and me:
Her: "He's just so cute. I hate to think about how many girls are going to be hanging around him when he's older."
Me: "That's how I felt about my baby brother too."
Her: "I guess you're not worried about that any more, huh?"
(Now, The Bear is quite grown up and I am not probably supposed to talk about him here any more but let's just say, yes, I am still concerned about this, though he does not, to my knowledge, currently have a Significant Other.)
Me: "I guess I'm not too worried about it, but why would you say that?"
Her: "Well, he's not much of a conversationalist."
Me: "Do you think that's important?"
Her: "It's what I'm looking for: I'm a talker and the guy I marry will have to talk too. Looks aren't enough."

Good to know. I need only watch out for those handsome boys that seem chatty, I guess. That should narrow it down considerably.

What's going on in your world this lovely Monday?
This post is linked to Miscellany Monday hosted by Carissa at lowercase letters.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Weekend Links - November 16, 2013

It's been a good week here. Plenty going on but it's mostly good stuff. I think we may have just gone through the calm before the storm of the Holidays, though. Our calendar is packed between today and January.

For this home-loving introvert, that is not exactly a recipe for happiness. Oh well. I guess I'll catch my breath later.

On to the links:

Spiritual / Inner Life
Marriage / Parenting
  • 7 Truths and a Lie About Motherhood by Jessica Smartt at The Better Mom.
  • Don't Tell Me Your Kid's Sins by Megan Hill. OK, I have conflicting thoughts about this one. One the one hand, yes, our children are not our property and their stories don't just belong to us. On the other hand, this parenting thing is part of our story. We would be falling into the ditch on the other side if we never discussed those struggles. Pretending we have it all together is not helpful either. If you've read this article, what are your thoughts?
  • Affirmation in the Thick of Things by Leila at Like Mother, Like Daughter. (I think I could have used the phrase "In the Thick of Things" for the title of this blog!)
Homeschooling / Education
C.S. Lewis - yes, Lewis rates his own category this week. The 22nd is the anniversary of his death and his legacy is on many minds.
Uncategorized (Everything Else)
That's it for this week. What caught your eye?
This post may be linked here:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday

Seems like most of the things I pinned last week had an "upcycled" or "rehabbed" theme going on.

Things like:
This painted piano. I'm not sure I'd ever have the guts to paint a piano but I have a few in mind that could really use the facelift.

Or this file cabinet:
That has to be one of the prettiest utilitarian things I've ever seen.

Then there are these brooches made from neckties:
These might make cute hairbows too.

I want to curl up here with a book:
Source: Nostalgia at the Stone House
I'm not sure how much decorating for the holidays I'm going to be doing this year (still in a rental but I'll hopefully have an exciting update for you about this soon!), but if I do I want to remember this idea:
source: Lemonade Makin' Mama
 So, what did you pin this week?

You can find these pins and many, many more on my Pinterest Boards:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nonfiction November - Become an Expert

If I was going to say I have expertise in any non-fiction subject, it's World War 2. This is a time period that has fascinated me since my childhood. Not so long ago (in fact, I've talked to my own grandparents about their memories of the time) but still far enough removed to feel quite different from my own life.

I've read many books on the subject, including scholarly books which will never be found on anyone's bestseller list. If you want to take a crash course in WW2, here's my recommended reading list:
1. Winston Churchill's series The Second World War (6 Volume Set). An inside look and many subsequent books are based on this series because Churchill was granted access to documents that other writers couldn't see. These are written in Churchill's imitable style. The first three are probably the best, mostly because Britain had to take an increasingly backseat role once America got well and truly in.
2.Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945 by Max Hastings. One of the best (possibly THE best) single book treatments that covers the entire war. This book successfully shares both the big picture and the smaller, more identifiable stories. I recommend this one every chance I get.
3.The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World Warby Andrew Roberts. Another fantastic one volume treatment. When I first picked up this book I was afraid it would be revisionist history. I think the subtitle is a bit misleading. This is not revisionist history, if anything it is setting the revisionists and modern moralists straight.

Any books by Richard Overy should be on your WW2 reading list but I particularly recommend these two:

4.The Battle of Britain: The Myth and the Reality
5.Why the Allies WonThese are the two I find most helpful but Overy has several others and they are all interesting and well researched.

Books primarily about America's war:
6. The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945. Companion to the excellent documentary by Ken Burns.
7.The Twilight Warriors by Robert Gandt. This reads almost like a novel and that's a good thing. This is about U.S. naval pilots at Okinawa. Hard to put down.
8.Since You Went Away: World War II Letters from American Women on the Home Front by Judy Barnett Litoff. Occasionally heartbreaking and always compelling.
9.The Library of Congress World War II Companion. Useful reference material with lots of charts and maps.

Books About Europe:
10.Hitler's Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europeby Mark Mazower. How the Nazi's conquered and ruled Europe, although the "why" is a little harder to explain.
11.The Secret Lives of Codebreakers: The Men and Women Who Cracked the Enigma Code at Bletchley Parkby Sinclair McKay. One of my favorite aspects of the war.
12.Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victoryby Ben Macintyre. One of the proofs that "truth is stranger than fiction".

13.Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Powerby Andrew Nagorski. Some Americans in Germany witnessed Hitler's rise to power with nearly front row seats. And those stories make for fascinating reading.
14.Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hourby Lynne Olson. And then there were the Americans in London who had stories to tell.
15.London War Notes, 1939-1945by Mollie Panter-Downes. My favorite firsthand account of London during the war.

Books with Numbers in the Title:
16.Sealing Their Fate: The Twenty-Two Days That Decided World War IIby David Downing. One of the books that tries to explain WW2 by examining the most decisive moments.
17.Five Days That Shocked the World: Eyewitness Accounts from Europe at the End of World War IIby Nicholas Best. Carefully examines five days (April 28 - May 2, 1945) through several different perspectives.

The Aftermath:
18. Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War IIby Keith Lowe. One of the sad facts about the Second World War is that Hitler's death (and Japan's surrender) didn't end the killing and brutality. This book deals with this.
19.Hunting Evil: The Nazi War Criminals Who Escaped and the Quest to Bring Them to Justiceby Guy Walters. This book is controversial because it questions Simon Wisenthal's contributions to this cause. Maybe read Wisenthal and then compare this book to try to get a more complete picture.
20.The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in Historyby Robert Edsel. Fabulous book and story. Read this before you watch the upcoming movie.

There you have it: a crash course in Second World War History.

In what subject would you consider yourself an expert?

This post is linked to Nonfiction November at Sophisticated Dorkiness.
 This post contains affiliate links. See my Disclosure page for more.